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The Metamorphosis

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Highly recommended

A man wakes up one day to find he has been changed into a large insect/beetle. The story follows his efforts to deal with this, and his family's reaction to the change. But it's not just a story about a man turning into a beetle, it's a clever way of writing about how a...
A man wakes up one day to find he has been changed into a large insect/beetle. The story follows his efforts to deal with this, and his family's reaction to the change. But it's not just a story about a man turning into a beetle, it's a clever way of writing about how a family would deal with the main breadwinner in the house becoming unable to work, and also on a wider scope, the way a family (and the world at large) reacts to someone who is disabled, or terminally ill. It could also be an analogy for how a family treats a member of the family who is now old and needs to be cared for. The man who is now a beetle, is forced to live in his room, shut away from the world, for fear that he will frighten anyone who enters the house. The man who once provided for the family, and thought of them above himself, has now become a burden on them, as they are now short of money, and have to find employment. The once able and hard-working man, transformed into a beetle, is now rejected, and his family blame him for their financial situation and the fact that they cannot move to a smaller house, because they need to have a room to keep him in.
The descriptive quality of the writing is excellent, and although it is a sad and gruesome tale, it is also very funny in parts; I couldn't help laughing out loud a couple of times.
The main thing that struck me, was that even though this story is nearly 100 years old, it is still totally relevant to today's world (and I'm not sure that's something we should be proud of).

posted by MariaSavva_Author on December 2, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Doesn't deserve all the acclaim.

My sister loved this book, and evidently so did online reviewers and critics. In fact, the book version I read is full of critical essays at the back: how the story relates to religion, resurrection, liberation, tragedy, allegory, how "Kafka" is an anagram, etc. But I j...
My sister loved this book, and evidently so did online reviewers and critics. In fact, the book version I read is full of critical essays at the back: how the story relates to religion, resurrection, liberation, tragedy, allegory, how "Kafka" is an anagram, etc. But I just don't see how this story deserves all that attention. It wasn't very realistic, even disregarding the main theme that a man turns into a beetle, the allegorical intent wasn't clear, unlike say "Animal Farm," the ending was unrealistic, disappointing, and prolonged, the story wasn't very interesting compared to movies like "The Fly" or "Sssssss" or "Thinner", and the writing wasn't particularly clever or appealing. It's just a story about a young man named Gregor who turns into some unspecified beetle/vermin, generally considered to be a cockroach, and about the effect this has on his family as his family locks him away in his bedroom. The whole story takes place in a single house, so it would be suitable for a play, but lacks some interest as a result. It is not clear if Gregor is merely imagining his voice as being intelligible or if it really is, it's not clear if Gregor's metamorphosis is making him progressively insect-like or if his state is stable, it's not clear why he's not hungry at the end, or whether he's becoming weak through lack of nutrition or rather laziness, and so on. Obviously the book is full of symbolism, but the meaning and nature of Gregor's situation is never very clear, which I regard as a result of a poor, sketchy writing style, rather than an intentional allegory. We clearly perceive that Gregor's condition brings about an improvement in everyone in his family, that Gregor was working himself to death for no reason, there are stabs at conventional working life and at nasty bosses who rule their employees' lives, but what this all means is never clear. So I guess all a writer has to do to universally elicit the interest of critics is to write a weak, simplistic story with a preposterous theme and make it vague enough that nobody understands it. To me that is not good writing.

posted by Simnia on November 4, 2008

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    Recommended- you should check it out.

    I recently read this book for my English class and I haven't read such a good book in awhile even though i don't read that often, but I really mean it when i said it's a good book. It shows how we human can turn on each other in matter of seconds.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2009

    A brilliantly written and caustic representation of life

    One of Kafka's masterpieces, The Metamorphosis includes an original story and an outstanding understanding of human psychology. Gregor turns into a bug, but doesn't panic about it because he is so entrenched in the desire to please others, as many of us do. Gregor's transformation doesn't merely constructs a creative plot, but also provides insight on reality. Is Gregor's bug-state an escape from his responsibilities? Or is it rather an intensification of his plight and already miserable life? While on the surface a simple and short novella, this book is definitely worth reading if one wishes a literary challenge and get into its themes.

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  • Posted December 18, 2008

    Interesting read

    Kafka's style is very unique and I would certainly read this if you are looking for something a bit different than most. It will keep you well occupied for a day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2008

    The Metamorphosis

    In the book The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka, our protagonist Gregor Samsa finds himself turned into an insect when he awakes from unsettling dreams. The family is in shock and eventually locks Gregor in his own room. The book examines the relationship between the family members and Gregor and how they adapt to their new lifestyle. The book has a common thread that connects each character. Kafka portrays the dull and boring life of a working class man in Gregor. While the family represents a higher power that constantly uses and takes advantage of people around them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2007

    Rolling on the Floor Laughing

    I read this book for school a few months ago and loathed it. Hated it with a passion. Read the whole thing weeks before we were supposed to just to get it over with. But I'm looking it over again and it's hilarious. Gregor Samsa's attempts to maintain some semblance of a normal life -- imagine a cockroach sitting on a train w/ suit and briefcase, antennae twitching as it peruses the newspaper -- are at once pathetic and deeply, deeply amusing. The details of his daily life as an insect show the research Kafka must have done observing vermin in his own apartment. And the ending is rich in both philosophy and dark humor. This book would have gotten a five out of five, had it not been for its scientific inaccuracies. At one point it mentions that Gregor's breath escapes from his nostrils, only insects don't have nostrils, they breathe through little holes in their sides. Also, Gregor-as- a-roach would have collapsed under his own weight from the outset under the laws of physics. But I'm a bio nerd, so enjoy it as you will.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2007

    Me Crawl Pretty One Day

    The first thing that surprised me about Franz Kafka's story THE METAMORPHOSIS is that is reads like it was written today. No, by that I don't mean that it's some cutting edge literature like Palahniuk's 'Fight Club' or some wild insane romp such as 'Katzenjammer' by J.T. McCrae, but rather that it is as fresh in its conception as those pieces and as much other new literature I've come across. No wonder it didn't take the world by storm when it first came out and that everyone was confused, not getting the giant metaphor the story really is. I do have to admit that I read it twice, just to make sure I got all the layers. Amazing, really, this story is written to be read on so many levels and it's up to you to decide what you want it to be about. Kafka was a genius and I'll be looking for anything else he's written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2007

    Change

    My first reaction at this story was what in the world is this...then I kept reading and I began to love it. This book is about more than a human turning into a bug. This book is about change and how it affects others. A good change makes the people around you want everything to do with you, they want to follow in your footsteps. On the other hand, a bad change, as in Gregor's case, the ones you thought loved will will quickly turn their back as if you don't exist and don't care how it makes you feel. They begin to hate you, and there's nothing you can do about it, what's done is done. This book really made me think. Everyone changes, just make sure it's the good change.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    Great!

    I just finished reading it for my English class... I was completely disgusted at first but it really kept my attention. I couldn't put the book down. There is so much hidden meaning in it and so much symobolism. We had a huge discussion about it. There is so much debate about this book.. it's so interesting. I highly recommend it if you are looking for the kind of book that makes you think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2006

    Yuck.

    Simply awful. This book offers no deep meaning or purpose. Disgusting to read and utterly boring. Don't bother with it. Hugs to all who had to bear the pain of having to read this book for class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2006

    Blah

    This book was pointless. Gregor turns into a bug and is shunned by the family he had taken care of his whole life. In the end he dies and they are happy. Talk about depressing. Kafka was a bit off his rocker

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2006

    A True Classic

    For my english class we were assigned to read the Metamorphosis. At first I thought it was gross because the guy was changed into a bug, but then as the story progressed the book began to evolve. I saw that Gregor wasn't really a bug. He was acting like a bug because that's how he felt. He was used by his family to work off their debt, and in the end he got nothing. This is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2005

    Everyone in the world should read this book

    this book is the best book i have ever read it is soooooo good that i couldn't put it down. NOT this book sucked i couldn't pick it up don't read it. Its a waste of time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2004

    A good book.

    This story tells how a man is being used by his family and his transformation to a bug. It is a not a physical transformation but an emotional one that depicts how he is being treated by his family. It is this metamorphosis, that shows the real change of how he is treated both emotionally and psychologically. Truly, this book tells us somethings we are ashamed of admiting to ourselves. Being at home still, working hard, helping our parents and they are never satisfied with your financial help and in the end, for what? This is what Kafka accomplishes to explain.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2003

    good and solid

    kafka is amazing. anything written by this sound-minded and logical man is well worth reading, but metamorphosis speaks another language. it's insatiable in desire (or rather kafka's desire) to convey the plot/story in a clear, concise way. good piece of lit, if not art..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2003

    One of the most eclectic short stories of all time

    Flawless. A work of inspired genius. An eclectic short-story for anyone with enough aesthetic appreciation and intelligence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2002

    Good Story

    I thought this was a great story because from the beginning you start to question everything that is taking place in the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2002

    Mankind's plight

    This book depicts how mankind has become artificial and how it has lost sight of what is truely before us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2002

    pettiness of human existence

    Human existence has always intrigued me and Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis' clearly portrays the pettiness of the human mass. One can identify oneself with the main protagonist of the masterpiece. The myriad pages sends jitters inside and am left with the question 'Who am i'? Kafka has brilliantly exposed us to the true identity of mankind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2002

    metamorphosis

    i think that this book bits the dust

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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